That One Time Patrick Rothfuss, Chuck Tingle, John Scalzi, and Neil Gaiman Created The Wise Man’s Butt

We can all agree that a blockbuster erotic fantasy novel written Exquisite Corpse-style by a Patrick RothfussChuck TingleJohn ScalziNeil Gaiman collective would be absolutely incredible, but sadly, such a brilliant idea has yet to come to fruition.

That is…unless you count the quartet’s 2017 cult classic The Wise Man’s Butt. 

But what *is* The Wise Man’s Butt? you say. Never heard of such a thing!

Here, rest awhile, weary traveler, and allow us to get you up to speed…

It all started one nice May day in 2017, when Twitter user @selinakyle87 tweeted N.C. Wyeth’s painting of some muscle-y medieval fisticuffs at Patrick Rothfuss.

(Fun little history sidebar. It’s actually an interior illustration titled ‘The Wrestling Match at the “Pied Merlin”’ done by Wyeth for a later edition of the Arthur Conan Doyle book The White Company, which was originally published in 1891. So the full version of Wyeth’s manglorious illustration gravitating towards another genre fiction title all the way in the year 2017 feels very appropriate.)

Anyway, Rothfuss wrote back:

“Title: Kvothe kicks every inch of some dude’s ass.”

As for how such a sumptuous masterpiece arose from one fantasy fan’s noble attempt to show Patrick Rothfuss the work of an early-20th-century illustrator, you’ll just have to read the thread yourself.

And the rest, as they say, is history. One tweet thread, four famous authors, and one eerily convincing cover mock-up later, and this now existed:

Chuck Tingle

(That double T, tho. Mmmm.)

So there you have it. The complete oral history of The Wise Man’s Butt, by Patrick Rothfuss and Chuck Tingle, with cover ideas from John Scalzi and Neil Gaiman.

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